I recently delved into the topic of ‘ghosting’, which is when someone who you’ve had an intimate relationship with disappears. But of course disappearing isn’t limited to ‘full-on’ relationships: ghosting is something that many people have experienced with dating plus it happens with friendships and even with family—my father ‘ghosted’ me after I got married and it took a couple of months for it to register and when it did, it floored me. Anyway…, today’s post focuses on dating.
It’s highly likely if you’ve been around the dating block a few times, that you’ve ghosted–I know I have. The pleaser in me felt as if I ‘should’ reciprocate interest but I didn’t want to. I feared making him feel bad (because I would then feel bad), as well as confrontation, so I ignored his texts/calls about a third date. Several months later, he’s stood on the opposite tube platform and I hid beneath my carriage window cringing with shame. After that I vowed not to dodge texts and calls and I stuck to it, even when he was a Mr Persistent. I knew with the latter that my only option was to be direct rather than dodging and once I knew that I’d been direct, I was free to ignore any texts or calls after that.
Ghosting is especially rife in the early stages of dating because in a time where someone might juggle multiple contacts due to apps and websites, or where their heads are easily turned due to a plenty of fish in the sea mentality, some argue that surely they can’t be expected to break up with or at least give a heads-up to each person they date. It’s like, “Don’t oblige me with other people’s emotions! But make me feel good!”. And actually, it’s also fair to say that not everyone wants to hear back from every date that doesn’t work out. A lot of the time, we can work things out for ourselves (if we were present rather than auditioning on the date).
Back in olden times, it was understood that if we didn’t hear back after a first or early date, it was a no-go. If they didn’t call after one-nighter or fling, although we’d likely feel a bit hurt and disappointed (especially if they were giving it the big talk while we were shagging our brains out), we’d still get the gist–it’s a no-go.
Disappearing was real and horrible in olden times and it still is, only some of us have Columbo tendencies so we have the added pain that comes with checking to see if they’re online or stalking Facebook.